Karnataka

IIHR launches portal for online sale of seeds

Arka Rakshak, a high-yielding and disease-resistant variety of tomato brought out by IIHR in Bengaluru.

Arka Rakshak, a high-yielding and disease-resistant variety of tomato brought out by IIHR in Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: B.S. Satish Kumar

The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) in Bengaluru has launched a seed portal through which people living anywhere in the country can get quality seeds at their doorstep after paying online.

Said to be the country’s first such seed portal from a public sector unit in horticulture with a wide range of seeds, it offers more than 60 high-yielding varieties of seeds for vegetables, flowers and fruit crops. Though the ICAR-IIHR seed portal (https://seed.iihr.res.in) was launched by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Director-General Trilochan Mohapatra during the National Horticulture Fair organised by the institute on its campus this February, it has become functional now.

According to institute director M.R. Dinesh, the portal aims to take the institute’s quality seeds to even remote places of the country which do not have access to quality plant material through this portal. “This helps in increasing productivity of horticultural crops as all our seeds are high yielding and have resistance to several diseases,” he said.

Pointing out that IIHR has adopted a novel seed village concept of using skilled farmers to produce seeds, he said the income of farmers who are into seed production is also bound to increase thanks to the seed portal. Environment protection will also get a boost as the use of pesticides will reduce since IIHR varieties have resistance to many diseases, Mr. Dinesh said.

K.K. Upreti, principal scientist and nodal officer of the Agricultural Knowledge Management Unit of the institute, said the institute produces over 15 tonnes of seeds of fruits, vegetables and flower crop varieties annually for sale to farmers. The sales are expected to increase by 20-25% now. When a farmer registers online for buying seeds, he will also be told whether the location is suitable for cultivation of such a variety, he said. In the coming days, the institute also plans to provide counselling on cultivation practices. It has prescribed norms on maximum purchase of each variety, to ensure that quality seeds are available to a large number of farmers.

IIHR has branded all of its seeds with the prefix “Arka”, as it is located on the banks of river Arkavathi. Some of the popular varieties of vegetable crops developed by the IIHR include tomato (Arka Rakshak), chilli (Arka Meghana), onion (Arka Kalyan), ridge gourd (Arka Prasan), French beans (Arka Arjun), and okra (Arka Nikita and Arka Anamika).

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 8:26:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/iihr-launches-portal-for-online-sale-of-seeds/article31653884.ece

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